The years 1874 through 1895 saw intense class struggle, much of it centering on the railroad industry. This struggle often took the form of working class self-activity, action organized by workers from the bottom up and carried out independently. Railroad workers did not wait for instructions or guidance from labor leaders, who often advised caution and conciliation with capitalists, but took action themselves.
Violence erupted 7 September in a major labor dispute that has simmered for months at the Port of Longview, leading to work shutdowns at ports up and down the Washington coast. Why are members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) — and their supporters in Washington and Oregon — so upset about a grain terminal that employs just 50 workers?